The Divine Mother as the Great Creatrix

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A static Oneness and dynamic Power

The soul’s inevitable destiny and the ultimate fulfilment

Deep within us She dwells, in the secret cavern of man’s heart, in the core of all things. There She holds the soul in her embrace as a mother holds her child. She is also the source and origin, the womb of creation, the one supreme Power from which all has emerged, by which all is sustained and towards which all is helplessly drawn. The mind cannot reach her nor even the gods since She is far above, beyond the manifest and unmanifest. Yet there is a door within us through which we can enter into the touch of oneness with her, feel and know ourselves a portion of her vast and infinite Consciousness, become a part and parcel of her Being. That door is the psychic door. It is a special grace given to man.

This bodily appearance is not all;
The form deceives, the person is a mask;
Hid deep in man celestial powers can dwell.
His fragile ship conveys through the sea of years
An incognito of the Imperishable.
A spirit that is a flame of God abides,
A fiery portion of the Wonderful,
Artist of his own beauty and delight,
Immortal in our mortal poverty.
This sculptor of the forms of the Infinite,
This screened unrecognised Inhabitant,
Initiate of his own veiled mysteries,
Hides in a small dumb seed his cosmic thought.
In the mute strength of the occult Idea
Determining predestined shape and act,
Passenger from life to life, from scale to scale,
Changing his imaged self from form to form,
He regards the icon growing by his gaze
And in the worm foresees the coming god.
At last the traveller in the paths of Time
Arrives on the frontiers of eternity.
In the transient symbol of humanity draped,
He feels his substance of undying self
And loses his kinship to mortality.
A beam of the Eternal smites his heart,
His thought stretches into infinitude;
All in him turns to spirit vastnesses.
His soul breaks out to join the Oversoul,
His life is oceaned by that superlife.
He has drunk from the breasts of the Mother of the worlds;
A topless Supernature fills his frame:
She adopts his spirit’s everlasting ground
As the security of her changing world
And shapes the figure of her unborn mights.
Immortally she conceives herself in him,
In the creature the unveiled Creatrix works:
Her face is seen through his face, her eyes through his eyes;
Her being is his through a vast identity.
Then is revealed in man the overt Divine.
A static Oneness and dynamic Power
Descend in him, the integral Godhead’s seals;
His soul and body take that splendid stamp. [23 – 24]

The above description is that of the psychic essence in man that goes through a number of lives before developing into a fully conscious psychic being. Once that happens, then man can become conscious of the Divine. Then progressing further he can consciously participate in her play. Nurtured by the dark mother of Ignorance he has reached so far struggling and battling against the forces of darkness. But now She, the Mother of all radiances, adopts him and shapes him anew into his divine possibilities. Descending in him She moulds a godhead out of his living clay. Aswapati has arrived at this high point and becomes one with the divine Presence hidden in creation and the supreme Power, the two who are essentially one, — one in essence, two in the manifestation.

 

The Divine Mother as Prakriti

The dual play of the One as Prakriti and Purusha

She has built this rainbow-hued, many-toned world for the sake of her divine Beloved who hides within each form. Around him She has woven a dance covering his face with her fancy’s moods. All her moods carry something of this truth concealed behind the surface play of life. Sometimes She seems to stray far from her Beloved and sometimes her steps are in perfect rhythm with his Will. But always She loves him deeply and seeks to create some image of him in all that She builds and does. His silent sanction is there in all her acts and all her fancies draw from some deep truth hidden in his unfathomable bosom. In the higher realms She is revealed as the Iswara and his Shakti but here under the veil of ignorance the two appear as Purusha and Prakriti, the Soul and Nature.

All here where each thing seems its lonely self
Are figures of the sole transcendent One:
Only by him they are, his breath is their life;
An unseen Presence moulds the oblivious clay.
A playmate in the mighty Mother’s game,
One came upon the dubious whirling globe
To hide from her pursuit in force and form.
A secret spirit in the Inconscient’s sleep,
A shapeless Energy, a voiceless Word,
He was here before the elements could emerge,
Before there was light of mind or life could breathe.
Accomplice of her cosmic huge pretence,
His semblances he turns to real shapes
And makes the symbol equal with the truth:
He gives to his timeless thoughts a form in Time.
He is the substance, he the self of things;
She has forged from him her works of skill and might:
She wraps him in the magic of her moods
And makes of his myriad truths her countless dreams.
The Master of being has come down to her,
An immortal child born in the fugitive years.
In objects wrought, in the persons she conceives,
Dreaming she chases her idea of him,
And catches here a look and there a gest:
Ever he repeats in them his ceaseless births.
He is the Maker and the world he made,
He is the vision and he is the Seer;
He is himself the actor and the act,
He is himself the knower and the known,
He is himself the dreamer and the dream.
There are Two who are One and play in many worlds;
In Knowledge and Ignorance they have spoken and met
And light and darkness are their eyes’ interchange;
Our pleasure and pain are their wrestle and embrace,
Our deeds, our hopes are intimate to their tale;
They are married secretly in our thought and life.
The universe is an endless masquerade:
For nothing here is utterly what it seems;
It is a dream-fact vision of a truth
Which but for the dream would not be wholly true,
A phenomenon stands out significant
Against dim backgrounds of eternity;
We accept its face and pass by all it means;
A part is seen, we take it for the whole.
Thus have they made their play with us for roles:
Author and actor with himself as scene,
He moves there as the Soul, as Nature she. [60 – 61]

What we have here is a magnificent description of the Purusha and Prakriti. Mystic thought, following a certain line of experience, has sometimes divided them into two distinct entities or powers apparently independent of each other. In Sri Aurobindo’s experience and conception of creation, the two are simply two poises of one Reality. They seem to become two for the sake of this play, but a deep unity always binds them together. In the highest state of existence they are the biune Reality of Iswara and Shakti, the Lord and his Power. But here in the lower creation they seem like two due to the play of ignorance and its power of division. But ignorance itself is a poise that the omniscience and omnipotence of the Divine have assumed since thus alone could the seed of creation sown in the cosmic soil emerge and flower out. There is but one Power but here it is veiled by the Lord’s Yogamaya and hence we perceive it not and see differences of objects, gradations, forces, etc. This too is needed for our growth at a certain stage, but the time has now come for the veil to be taken away and for man to discover his secret soul and the sheer unity and oneness of God and play his part consciously aligned to the Divine Shakti no more veiled in the dual play of Knowledge and Ignorance.

 

The Divine Mother as the divine Word that creates

The goddess of inspiration, revelation and intuition

She is the link between our present state of ignorance and the state of Wisdom towards which our soul moves. For this ascension of the soul out of ignorance, She has built steps of knowledge until we discover the utter infinity of God. These steps and their powers are the great goddesses whose workings are revealed in the seers as inspiration, revelation and intuition. With the awakening of these faculties in us, She pours her creative energies attuning our human speech to the rhythms of the Eternal. Thus She carries the soul further and further towards the shadowless Light of the supramental infinities.

The intense creatrix in his stillness wrought;
Her power fallen speechless grew more intimate;
She looked upon the seen and the unforeseen,
Unguessed domains she made her native field.
All-vision gathered into a single ray,
As when the eyes stare at an invisible point
Till through the intensity of one luminous spot
An apocalypse of a world of images
Enters into the kingdom of the seer.
A great nude arm of splendour suddenly rose;
It rent the gauze opaque of Nescience:
Her lifted finger’s keen unthinkable tip
Bared with a stab of flame the closed Beyond.
An eye awake in voiceless heights of trance,
A mind plucking at the unimaginable,
Overleaping with a sole and perilous bound
The high black wall hiding superconscience,
She broke in with inspired speech for scythe
And plundered the Unknowable’s vast estate.
A gleaner of infinitesimal grains of Truth,
A sheaf-binder of infinite experience,
She pierced the guarded mysteries of World-Force
And her magic methods wrapped in a thousand veils;
Or she gathered the lost secrets dropped by Time
In the dust and crannies of his mounting route
Mid old forsaken dreams of hastening Mind
And buried remnants of forgotten space.
A traveller between summit and abyss,
She joined the distant ends, the viewless deeps,
Or streaked along the roads of Heaven and Hell
Pursuing all knowledge like a questing hound.
A reporter and scribe of hidden wisdom talk,
Her shining minutes of celestial speech,
Passed through the masked office of the occult mind,
Transmitting gave to prophet and to seer
The inspired body of the mystic Truth.
A recorder of the inquiry of the gods,
Spokesman of the silent seeings of the Supreme,
She brought immortal words to mortal men. [38 – 39]

We have here a description of the powers and modes of knowledge that awaken and become operational in the aspirant as he turns towards the Divine Mother. They come as a gift of her Grace and have to be used at her service. These powers and faculties now rare and obtained through arduous tapasya will become more and more common and natural in the new beings embodying the new Consciousness who will be the heralds of the future. Here we are given a glimpse of these powers as experienced by Aswapati in the course of his yoga.

 

The Divine and his Shakti

All is in the Divine, the Divine is in all, the Divine is all

Who is She who has emerged out of the silence of the Supreme? Who can know her except he whom She chooses to reveal to whatever degree of her infinite Glory and Grace? All is her creation, her works, her veils and her shadows. It is She who has entered into the vastness of Space and Time. What is Space but a field created by her for their play. What is Time but her countless rhythms that attract by their dance the Eternal. Though beyond Space and Time, She has entered into it and into each object that She has fashioned and formed by the pressure of her silent Will. The universe and the atom, the infinite and the infinitesimal are equally her home. Silent and unseen, She works in the depths of creation to awaken it to the Presence of the Divine and his Light and Love and Beauty and Bliss. She becomes human, assumes a material cloak so that man human following her steps can be cast into the image of a god.

The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone
Has called out of the Silence his mute Force
Where she lay in the featureless and formless hush
Guarding from Time by her immobile sleep
The ineffable puissance of his solitude.
The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone
Has entered with his silence into space:
He has fashioned these countless persons of one self;
He has built a million figures of his power;
He lives in all, who lived in his Vast alone;
Space is himself and Time is only he.
The Absolute, the Perfect, the Immune,
One who is in us as our secret self,
Our mask of imperfection has assumed,
He has made this tenement of flesh his own,
His image in the human measure cast
That to his divine measure we might rise;
Then in a figure of divinity
The Maker shall recast us and impose
A plan of godhead on the mortal’s mould
Lifting our finite minds to his infinite,
Touching the moment with eternity.
This transfiguration is earth’s due to heaven:
A mutual debt binds man to the Supreme:
His nature we must put on as he put ours;
We are sons of God and must be even as he:
His human portion, we must grow divine.
Our life is a paradox with God for key. [67]

In her highest state She is the Shakti, the Consciousness-Force of the Supreme who lies in the deep bosom of the One. It is with his own Shakti that the Divine builds these countless systems of worlds and their million processes. She builds fields of Space and Time for him to enter and sow the seeds of divinity in them. It is She who has descended here in an imperfect human form so that matter could be redeemed by her touch. The Divine and his Shakti have assumed human forms to lead us by their divine examples. They have become like us so that we can become like them! Sacrificing her vastness She has entered into the cramped up material existence so that the forces of darkness and inconscience that hold sway upon it may be transformed by her Presence and her Power. This is the great sacrifice, known as the sacrifice of the Purusha in ancient Indian spiritual literature but is much more so a sacrifice of the Divine Mother in matter turning the base of matter into a yajna-vedi, a divine altar, for the forces of transformation to descend and take hold over it and transmute this earthly life into the life divine.

 

The leader of the human march

It is She who leads the human march. Silent and unseen, hidden behind the veils She has woven around herself, She prompts our quest and guides us through the pathways of the unknown. All paths are her paths. All are driven by her Force, the wheeling of the suns and stars, the powers that move our destiny, the titans and the gods, the bird and beast and man all are moved by her. Each event and circumstance of our life is a drama staged by her in such a way as to push us towards the great Goal for which creation has come into being out of the silence of the Infinite.

Always he follows in her force’s wake.
He sails through life and death and other life,
He travels on through waking and through sleep.
A power is on him from her occult force
That ties him to his own creation’s fate,
And never can the mighty Traveller rest
And never can the mystic voyage cease
Till the nescient dusk is lifted from man’s soul
And the morns of God have overtaken his night.
As long as Nature lasts, he too is there,
For this is sure that he and she are one;
Even when he sleeps, he keeps her on his breast:
Whoever leaves her, he will not depart
To repose without her in the Unknowable.
There is a truth to know, a work to do;
Her play is real; a Mystery he fulfils:
There is a plan in the Mother’s deep world-whim,
A purpose in her vast and random game.
This ever she meant since the first dawn of life,
This constant will she covered with her sport,
To evoke a Person in the impersonal Void,
With the Truth-Light strike earth’s massive roots of trance,
Wake a dumb self in the inconscient depths
And raise a lost Power from its python sleep
That the eyes of the Timeless might look out from Time
And the world manifest the unveiled Divine.
For this he left his white infinity
And laid on the spirit the burden of the flesh,
That Godhead’s seed might flower in mindless Space. [72 – 73]

Even though our journey of life seems to pass through strange unexpected terrains that baffle us to the core yet there is behind it all a deep purpose. More than the journey of our moment’s personality passing through a changing kaleidoscope of circumstances, it is the journey of our soul, a mystic voyage that does not cease with the death of a body. In this great and tremendous journey, She is our sole companion who never leaves or abandons us. Nor can we leave or abandon her since our fate is bound by her Will. This Will working within the depths of creation and in man’s heart is to fill the void called Space with God’s Delight and tune the random chaotic seeming dance of Time to the rhythms of the All-Beautiful. Watered by her vast Love, slowly our souls sprout upon matter’s soil, and, attracted by her Light, man grows towards the infinity of God.

 

The Divine Mother as the Power that liberates and transforms us

Descent of the Shakti in the incarnate Divine, the tapaswi, yogi and seer Aswapati

The tapas-shakti of the tapaswi is She, the yoga-shakti of the yogi is She, the power of love that moves the bhakta’s heart is She, the power of knowledge that illumines the mind of the seeker of Knowledge is She, the Will that works in the heart of creation, the sole doer of Works is She, the power in the Kundalini Shakti is She. All Power is derived from the One Power that She holds within her bosom. And when this Power comes streaming down into the mind and heart and life and body of one chosen by her Grace then it brooks no limit. All fences break down and all the mind’s can-be and cannot-be, the possible and the impossible, are thrown far from the rare recipient of her Grace. All is uplifted by her Breath, all is transmuted by her Delight.

In a divine retreat from mortal thought,
In a prodigious gesture of soul-sight,
His being towered into pathless heights,
Naked of its vesture of humanity.
As thus it rose, to meet him bare and pure
A strong Descent leaped down. A Might, a Flame,
A Beauty half-visible with deathless eyes,
A violent Ecstasy, a Sweetness dire,
Enveloped him with its stupendous limbs
And penetrated nerve and heart and brain
That thrilled and fainted with the epiphany:
His nature shuddered in the Unknown’s grasp.
In a moment shorter than death, longer than Time,
By a Power more ruthless than Love, happier than Heaven,
Taken sovereignly into eternal arms,
Haled and coerced by a stark absolute bliss,
In a whirlwind circuit of delight and force
Hurried into unimaginable depths,
Upborne into immeasurable heights,
It was torn out from its mortality
And underwent a new and bourneless change.
An Omniscient knowing without sight or thought,
An indecipherable Omnipotence,
A mystic Form that could contain the worlds,
Yet make one human breast its passionate shrine,
Drew him out of his seeking loneliness
Into the magnitudes of God’s embrace.
As when a timeless Eye annuls the hours
Abolishing the agent and the act,
So now his spirit shone out wide, blank, pure:
His wakened mind became an empty slate
On which the Universal and Sole could write.
All that represses our fallen consciousness
Was taken from him like a forgotten load:
A fire that seemed the body of a god
Consumed the limiting figures of the past
And made large room for a new self to live.
Eternity’s contact broke the moulds of sense.
A greater Force than the earthly held his limbs,
Huge workings bared his undiscovered sheaths,
Strange energies wrought and screened tremendous hands
Unwound the triple cord of mind and freed
The heavenly wideness of a Godhead’s gaze.
As through a dress the wearer’s shape is seen,
There reached through forms to the hidden absolute
A cosmic feeling and transcendent sight.
Increased and heightened were the instruments.
Illusion lost her aggrandising lens;
As from her failing hand the measures fell,
Atomic looked the things that loomed so large.
The little ego’s ring could join no more;
In the enormous spaces of the self
The body now seemed only a wandering shell,
His mind the many-frescoed outer court
Of an imperishable Inhabitant:
His spirit breathed a superhuman air.
The imprisoned deity rent its magic fence.
As with a sound of thunder and of seas,
Vast barriers crashed around the huge escape.
Immutably coeval with the world,
Circle and end of every hope and toil
Inexorably drawn round thought and act,
The fixed immovable peripheries
Effaced themselves beneath the Incarnate’s tread.
The dire velamen and the bottomless crypt
Between which life and thought for ever move,
Forbidden still to cross the dim dread bounds,
The guardian darknesses mute and formidable,
Empowered to circumscribe the wingless spirit
In the boundaries of Mind and Ignorance,
Protecting no more a dual eternity
Vanished rescinding their enormous role:
Once figure of creation’s vain ellipse,
The expanding zero lost its giant curve.
The old adamantine vetoes stood no more:
Overpowered were earth and Nature’s obsolete rule;
The python coils of the restricting Law
Could not restrain the swift arisen God:
Abolished were the scripts of destiny.
There was no small death-hunted creature more,
No fragile form of being to preserve
From an all-swallowing Immensity.
The great hammer-beats of a pent-up world-heart
Burst open the narrow dams that keep us safe
Against the forces of the universe.
The soul and cosmos faced as equal powers.
A boundless being in a measureless Time
Invaded Nature with the infinite;
He saw unpathed, unwalled, his titan scope. [81 – 83]

Following his soul’s release from Ignorance, Aswapati is chosen by the Glory of glories as a vessel for her highest Powers to descend and transmute his human parts into some image of the unborn divinity. All in him undergoes a tremendous change, a complete reorganisation of what he is and does, a total reversal of values and possibilities. Life and death lose their meaning, and vastness draws him towards an unwalled and unpartitioned path. She is revealed to Aswapati as Kali and Krishna, ‘a violent ecstasy and a sweetness dire.’

 

The Divine Mother as Yogamaya

The Power that creates finite forms and worlds to fulfil the dreams of the Infinite

She is Yogamaya, that silent Power of the Lord who in his trance of sleep builds the worlds. She emerges from his bosom and erects this many-toned, many-hued world, or worlds, so to say. She is the occult Energy that has gone forth into Time and Space. Her steps create the worlds and her rhythms the measure of the gods and titans and all the beings that exist between the far ends of the cosmos. She is the Power that measures out the Infinite as if in infinite bits so that finite beings and finite worlds could be.

On the margin of great immaterial planes,
In kingdoms of an untrammelled glory of force,
Where Mind is master of the life and form
And soul fulfils its thoughts by its own power,
She meditates upon mighty words and looks
On the unseen links that join the parted spheres.
Thence to the initiate who observes her laws
She brings the light of her mysterious realms:
Here where he stands, his feet on a prostrate world,
His mind no more cast into Matter’s mould,
Over their bounds in spurts of splendid strength
She carries their magician processes
And the formulas of their stupendous speech,
Till heaven and hell become purveyors to earth
And the universe the slave of mortal will.
A mediatrix with veiled and nameless gods
Whose alien will touches our human life,
Imitating the World-Magician’s ways
She invents for her self-bound free-will its grooves
And feigns for magic’s freaks a binding cause.
All worlds she makes the partners of her deeds,
Accomplices of her mighty violence,
Her daring leaps into the impossible:
From every source she has taken her cunning means,
She draws from the free-love marriage of the planes
Elements for her creation’s tour-de-force:
A wonder-weft of knowledge incalculable,
A compendium of divine invention’s feats
She has combined to make the unreal true
Or liberate suppressed reality:
In her unhedged Circean wonderland
Pell-mell she shepherds her occult mightinesses;
Her mnemonics of the craft of the Infinite,
Jets of the screened subliminal’s caprice,
Tags of the gramarye of Inconscience,
Freedom of a sovereign Truth without a law,
Thoughts that were born in the immortals’ world,
Oracles that break out from behind the shrine,
Warnings from the daemonic inner voice
And peeps and lightning-leaps of prophecy
And intimations to the inner ear,
Abrupt interventions stark and absolute
And the Superconscient’s unaccountable acts,
Have woven her balanced web of miracles
And the weird technique of her tremendous art. [85 – 86]

A border sovereign is the occult Force.
A threshold guardian of the earth-scene’s Beyond,
She has canalised the outbreaks of the Gods
And cut through vistas of intuitive sight
A long road of shimmering discoveries.
The worlds of a marvellous Unknown were near,
Behind her an ineffable Presence stood:
Her reign received their mystic influences,
Their lion-forces crouched beneath her feet;
The future sleeps unknown behind their doors. [87]

Aswapati enters the occult realms and their complex workings. A veil has been woven around these worlds and the forces that work in these domains. The Divine Mother removes the veils and reveals her workings in these hidden realms and yields her occult powers to the Yogi-King.

 

The sacrifice of the Divine Mother

The origin of this many-patterned, many-layered universe

Not only have her Wisdom and Power gone into the creation, but She has become this creation. She has left her divine abode and leaning across unseen depths entered into the heart of all things. Nay, She has become all things since thus alone creation could be a progressive expression of the supreme Will. She has become these countless worlds and their beings and forces and powers. The higher and the lower Nature both are herself. In the one She stands unveiled, while in the other She has chosen to limit herself by putting a veil around her face. In the one She is ever in Bliss, in the other She takes upon herself the burden of material nature and its unconsciousness and suffering. This material world of ours, our very earth that moves as if unconscious of its journey and its aim, is but herself veiling herself.

Our life is a holocaust of the Supreme.
The great World-Mother by her sacrifice
Has made her soul the body of our state;
Accepting sorrow and unconsciousness
Divinity’s lapse from its own splendours wove
The many-patterned ground of all we are.
An idol of self is our mortality.
Our earth is a fragment and a residue;
Her power is packed with the stuff of greater worlds
And steeped in their colour-lustres dimmed by her drowse;
An atavism of higher births is hers,
Her sleep is stirred by their buried memories
Recalling the lost spheres from which they fell.
Unsatisfied forces in her bosom move;
They are partners of her greater growing fate
And her return to immortality;
They consent to share her doom of birth and death;
They kindle partial gleams of the All and drive
Her blind laborious spirit to compose
A meagre image of the mighty Whole.
The calm and luminous Intimacy within
Approves her work and guides the unseeing Power. [99 – 100]

The Divine Mother has plunged into the darkness of the Inconscient to bear the burden of darkness and unconsciousness. Of all the worlds She has created and become, earth is a special formation since it contains within itself the essence of all the other worlds. Therefore earth has become an evolutionary centre stage in the Divine’s laboratory where forces from all the other worlds come together and mix and combine and clash and evolve towards their divine possibilities. Earth is the pot where She has sown the seed of divinity so that it can flower in Space and Time.

 

The Mother as the supramental Mahashakti

The higher worlds of Freedom and Bliss where Knowledge and Power are one

Her steps are steps of supreme Freedom. She creates what She sees. In her, the omniscience is one with omnipotence. It is from her divine bosom that life has emerged as a mighty river flowing down to redeem this earth. It is something of her Glory that life seeks to embody and enshrine here.

There were realms where Knowledge joined creative Power
In her high home and made her all his own:
The grand Illuminate seized her gleaming limbs
And filled them with the passion of his ray
Till all her body was its transparent house
And all her soul a counterpart of his soul.
Apotheosised, transfigured by wisdom’s touch,
Her days became a luminous sacrifice;
An immortal moth in happy and endless fire,
She burned in his sweet intolerable blaze.
A captive Life wedded her conqueror.
In his wide sky she built her world anew;
She gave to mind’s calm pace the motor’s speed,
To thinking a need to live what the soul saw,
To living an impetus to know and see.
His splendour grasped her, her puissance to him clung;
She crowned the Idea a king in purple robes,
Put her magic serpent sceptre in Thought’s grip,
Made forms his inward vision’s rhythmic shapes
And her acts the living body of his will. [125]

There freedom was sole rule and highest law.
In a happy series climbed or plunged these worlds:
In realms of curious beauty and surprise,
In fields of grandeur and of titan power,
Life played at ease with her immense desires.
A thousand Edens she could build nor pause;
No bound was set to her greatness and to her grace
And to her heavenly variety.
Awake with a cry and stir of numberless souls,
Arisen from the breast of some deep Infinite,
Smiling like a new-born child at love and hope,
In her nature housing the Immortal’s power,
In her bosom bearing the eternal Will,
No guide she needed but her luminous heart:
No fall debased the godhead of her steps,
No alien Night had come to blind her eyes.
There was no use for grudging ring or fence;
Each act was a perfection and a joy.
Abandoned to her rapid fancy’s moods
And the rich coloured riot of her mind,
Initiate of divine and mighty dreams,
Magician builder of unnumbered forms
Exploring the measures of the rhythms of God,
At will she wove her wizard wonder-dance,
A Dionysian goddess of delight,
A Bacchant of creative ecstasy. [127 – 128]

This is a description of the highest worlds of Truth and Delight where Freedom and Bliss are perfect since they are completely in tune with the rhythms of the Eternal. Here the Divine Mother is revealed as the Supreme Creatrix whose breath comes down into earth as the Force that labours and struggles in matter’s night. Just as in the sun the light and heat are not separate but one composite whole so too in the supramental realms Knowledge and Power are one and not divorced as we find here.

 

The Divine Mother as the Wisdom working unseen in Nature’s depths

The evolutionary Force hidden in depths of Matter

Out of her immense Love She has plunged into the inconscient depths as the saviour Grace. In us too She works and labours in the fathomless Night to awaken matter and life to her Light and Joy and Love. Thus has She suffered to be diminished and even dominated for a while by the Night since thus alone can the darkness be redeemed. Night is only a veil She has drawn over her luminous face and darkness only a magic of her being hidden from our vision.

In the enigma of the darkened Vasts,
In the passion and self-loss of the Infinite
When all was plunged in the negating Void,
Non-Being’s night could never have been saved
If Being had not plunged into the dark
Carrying with it its triple mystic cross.
Invoking in world-time the timeless truth,
Bliss changed to sorrow, knowledge made ignorant,
God’s force turned into a child’s helplessness
Can bring down heaven by their sacrifice.
A contradiction founds the base of life:
The eternal, the divine Reality
Has faced itself with its own contraries;
Being became the Void and Conscious-Force
Nescience and walk of a blind Energy
And Ecstasy took the figure of world-pain.
In a mysterious dispensation’s law
A Wisdom that prepares its far-off ends
Planned so to start her slow aeonic game.
A blindfold search and wrestle and fumbling clasp
Of a half-seen Nature and a hidden Soul,
A game of hide-and-seek in twilit rooms,
A play of love and hate and fear and hope
Continues in the nursery of mind
Its hard and heavy romp of self-born twins.
At last the struggling Energy can emerge
And meet the voiceless Being in wider fields;
Then can they see and speak and, breast to breast,
In a larger consciousness, a clearer light,
The Two embrace and strive and each know each
Regarding closer now the playmate’s face.
Even in these formless coilings he could feel
Matter’s response to an infant stir of soul.
In Nature he saw the mighty Spirit concealed,
Watched the weak birth of a tremendous Force,
Pursued the riddle of Godhead’s tentative pace,
Heard the faint rhythms of a great unborn Muse. [140 – 141]

Here Sri Aurobindo describes the great plunge of the Divine Mother to rescue creation out of the inconscient state into which it had fallen. For this, She identifies with darkness and night and then struggles to emerge thus pulling along with her the entire creation.

 

The Divine Mother beyond the grasp even of and sages and seers

The Supreme Goddess beyond the grasp of thought and mind

Thou art indeed beyond thought and conception. The freest and vastest intelligence returns baffled by thy Majesty and Glory! Even the great gods know Thee not; only a little of thy Wisdom and Splendour is given to them. The seer, the yogin, the siddhas and tapaswins spend lifetimes in meditation upon unreachable peaks to catch one hurried glimpse of Thee. And yet Thou art always beyond, beyond all that one can ever think or know or understand or imagine. All powers are merely a fraction of thy vast infinite Consciousness that leans from the supreme heights to fill a human mind and heart and these countless worlds with thy flame of Truth. Out of compassion and love, She has consented to lower her heights so that we can receive her luminous touch. Let us surrender to her in a wide gesture giving ourselves entirely to her so that She may mould our being into the image of our unborn divinity.

Out of her hushed eternal spaces leaned
The great and boundless Goddess feigned to yield
The sunlit sweetness of her secrecies.
Incarnating her beauty in his clasp
She gave for a brief kiss her immortal lips
And drew to her bosom one glorified mortal head:
She made earth her home, for whom heaven was too small.
In a human breast her occult presence lived;
He carved from his own self his figure of her:
She shaped her body to a mind’s embrace.
Into thought’s narrow limits she has come;
Her greatness she has suffered to be pressed
Into the little cabin of the Idea,
The closed room of a lonely thinker’s grasp:
She has lowered her heights to the stature of our souls
And dazzled our lids with her celestial gaze.
Thus each is satisfied with his high gain
And thinks himself beyond mortality blest,
A king of truth upon his separate throne.
To her possessor in the field of Time
A single splendour caught from her glory seems
The one true light, her beauty’s glowing whole.
But thought nor word can seize eternal Truth:
The whole world lives in a lonely ray of her sun.
In our thinking’s close and narrow lamp-lit house
The vanity of our shut mortal mind
Dreams that the chains of thought have made her ours;
But only we play with our own brilliant bonds;
Tying her down, it is ourselves we tie.
In our hypnosis by one luminous point
We see not what small figure of her we hold;
We feel not her inspiring boundlessness,
We share not her immortal liberty.
Thus is it even with the seer and sage;
For still the human limits the divine:
Out of our thoughts we must leap up to sight,
Breathe her divine illimitable air,
Her simple vast supremacy confess,
Dare to surrender to her absolute.
Then the Unmanifest reflects his form
In the still mind as in a living glass;
The timeless Ray descends into our hearts
And we are rapt into eternity.
For Truth is wider, greater than her forms.
A thousand icons they have made of her
And find her in the idols they adore;
But she remains herself and infinite. [275 – 276]

Aswapati has travelled through the kingdoms of the Greater Mind whose powers and light mould and manifest in the mind of the yogi and the seer. Faculties of inspiration, revelation, intuition begin to emerge and a new way of knowing thrills our body and brain. Yet all these powers are not even a fragment of her illimitable Glory. Whatever we may experience in the trance of bliss or yoga, whatever we may realise, whatever forms through which we may worship, whatever paths of yoga and tantra through which we may approach her, She will always remain beyond, the Illimitable, the Infinite. It is only by surrendering to her in an act of humility and worship that something of her illimitable Light and Truth can reflect in our being and fill us with the Peace and Light and Bliss of the Eternal.

 

The World-Mother, Jaganmata, Jagatdhatri

Kali, the Mother of Time who stands at the apex of creation, beyond the gods

She is the World-Mother out of whom all has emerged, by whom all is sustained and by whom all is absorbed back into its source so as to be cast into the world-play again. Space is only her wide expanse of seeing and Time her rhythmic dance. She sets the rhythms of an age and creation follows in its wake. She is the supreme Liberator who can free us from the dark and bright powers, from the titans and the gods. She watches over our individual and collective march and yet for a few who are ready She opens the gates of the Eternal. She is the tapa-shakti of the tapaswi, the yoga-shakti of the yogin, the tejah of the tejaswi. All this and countless systems of worlds and universes are her play arranged with a purpose that none can fathom. Yet all are bound by her Will unless She chooses to free them. She is the Force behind the wheeling of the stars and the atoms; She is the Force behind the mighty revolutions that change an age. The sun and the moon are her playthings lit by the light in her eyes and the stars are a necklace woven around her bosom. What She wills for her creatures in that direction the forces of destiny begin to turn their wheels. She fulfils her Will through all resistances and nothing happens in the cosmic play but what She has seen and willed.

Along a road of pure interior light,
Alone between tremendous Presences,
Under the watching eyes of nameless Gods,
His soul passed on, a single conscious power,
Towards the end which ever begins again,
Approaching through a stillness dumb and calm
To the source of all things human and divine.
There he beheld in their mighty union’s poise
The figure of the deathless Two-in-One,
A single being in two bodies clasped,
A diarchy of two united souls,
Seated absorbed in deep creative joy;
Their trance of bliss sustained the mobile world.
Behind them in a morning dusk One stood
Who brought them forth from the Unknowable.
Ever disguised she awaits the seeking spirit;
Watcher on the supreme unreachable peaks,
Guide of the traveller of the unseen paths,
She guards the austere approach to the Alone.
At the beginning of each far-spread plane
Pervading with her power the cosmic suns
She reigns, inspirer of its multiple works
And thinker of the symbol of its scene.
Above them all she stands supporting all,
The sole omnipotent Goddess ever-veiled
Of whom the world is the inscrutable mask;
The ages are the footfalls of her tread,
Their happenings the figure of her thoughts,
And all creation is her endless act.
His spirit was made a vessel of her force;
Mute in the fathomless passion of his will
He outstretched to her his folded hands of prayer.
Then in a sovereign answer to his heart
A gesture came as of worlds thrown away,
And from her raiment’s lustrous mystery raised
One arm half-parted the eternal veil.
A light appeared still and imperishable.
Attracted to the large and luminous depths
Of the ravishing enigma of her eyes,
He saw the mystic outline of a face.
Overwhelmed by her implacable light and bliss,
An atom of her illimitable self
Mastered by the honey and lightning of her power,
Tossed towards the shores of her ocean-ecstasy,
Drunk with a deep golden spiritual wine,
He cast from the rent stillness of his soul
A cry of adoration and desire
And the surrender of his boundless mind
And the self-giving of his silent heart.
He fell down at her feet unconscious, prone. [294 – 296]

Aswapati has now reached the secret Soul of the World where the Master of Yoga, the Cosmic Being, dwells in his dual poise of Iswara and Iswari whose Bliss creates and sustains the world. Here he has the darshan of the World-Mother who determines and moves the cycles of creation by her Force and Will. Overwhelmed by her vision, enthralled by the rapture of her nearness He falls at her feet in adoration and surrender and the rapture of self-giving. She opens for him the gates of the Beyond, of the transcendent Unknowable.

 

Mother of God, the Supreme Transcendent Mother

This is She whom all our strivings seek. This is She where all knowledge ceases and rests in a blissful silence. This is She who brings out the being of God from the unmanifest and yet She remains beyond the manifest and the unmanifest, beyond being and non-being, beyond form and the formless, beyond knowledge and ignorance, beyond all the countless worlds and universes, beyond creation. She is the ultimate Mystery and there is nothing and none beyond her. She is the heart of the Unknowable who holds creation and the Creator in a single clasp of Love. To feel her in the heart is to be thrilled with the transcendent Bliss that has built the worlds. To be a slave of her Will is to be a master of all the worlds. To be her child is to play with time and circumstances and walk through life fearless and free. Whatever one may write or say or think and feel and know, even if it be the highest Knowledge, is nothing compared to what She is. All that we can do is to adore her and call her and offer our life to her with joy and gratitude.

Even while he stood on being’s naked edge
And all the passion and seeking of his soul
Faced their extinction in some featureless Vast,
The Presence he yearned for suddenly drew close.
Across the silence of the ultimate Calm,
Out of a marvellous Transcendence’ core,
A body of wonder and translucency
As if a sweet mystic summary of her self
Escaping into the original Bliss
Had come enlarged out of eternity,
Someone came infinite and absolute.
A being of wisdom, power and delight,
Even as a mother draws her child to her arms,
Took to her breast Nature and world and soul.
Abolishing the signless emptiness,
Breaking the vacancy and voiceless hush,
Piercing the limitless Unknowable,
Into the liberty of the motionless depths
A beautiful and felicitous lustre stole.
The Power, the Light, the Bliss no word can speak
Imaged itself in a surprising beam
And built a golden passage to his heart
Touching through him all longing sentient things.
A moment’s sweetness of the All-Beautiful
Cancelled the vanity of the cosmic whirl.
A Nature throbbing with a Heart divine
Was felt in the unconscious universe;
It made the breath a happy mystery.
A love that bore the cross of pain with joy
Eudaemonised the sorrow of the world,
Made happy the weight of long unending Time,
The secret caught of God’s felicity.
Affirming in life a hidden ecstasy
It held the spirit to its miraculous course;
Carrying immortal values to the hours
It justified the labour of the suns.
For one was there supreme behind the God.
A Mother Might brooded upon the world;
A Consciousness revealed its marvellous front
Transcending all that is, denying none:
Imperishable above our fallen heads
He felt a rapturous and unstumbling Force.
The undying Truth appeared, the enduring Power
Of all that here is made and then destroyed,
The Mother of all godheads and all strengths
Who, mediatrix, binds earth to the Supreme. [312 – 313]

It is She who was hidden in the ineffable Supreme Being. While the Supreme Being seemed to cancel the cosmos and creation in his absolute transcendence, the Divine Mother takes in all things and forces and beings thereby sanctioning the cosmic play and healing its pain and struggle.

 

A burning Love from white spiritual founts

She has come armed with the power of divine Love. It is this supreme Love that can alone win the victory. It is with this supreme Love that there lies the power of transformation. It is this supreme Love that can change evil and convert the Night into the glowing jewel of God. It is this supreme Love that has plunged into the darkness of the inconscience even as it dwells above beyond the manifest and the unmanifest. It is the saviour Grace that has come to earth and lo all nature is filled with renewed hope and joy.

A Heart was felt in the spaces wide and bare,
A burning Love from white spiritual founts
Annulled the sorrow of the ignorant depths;
Suffering was lost in her immortal smile.
A Life from beyond grew conqueror here of death;
To err no more was natural to mind;
Wrong could not come where all was light and love.
The Formless and the Formed were joined in her:
Immensity was exceeded by a look,
A Face revealed the crowded Infinite.
Incarnating inexpressibly in her limbs
The boundless joy the blind world-forces seek,
Her body of beauty mooned the seas of bliss.
At the head she stands of birth and toil and fate,
In their slow round the cycles turn to her call;
Alone her hands can change Time’s dragon base.
Hers is the mystery the Night conceals;
The spirit’s alchemist energy is hers;
She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire.
The luminous heart of the Unknown is she,
A power of silence in the depths of God;
She is the Force, the inevitable Word,
The magnet of our difficult ascent,
The Sun from which we kindle all our suns,
The Light that leans from the unrealised Vasts,
The joy that beckons from the impossible,
The Might of all that never yet came down.
All Nature dumbly calls to her alone
To heal with her feet the aching throb of life
And break the seals on the dim soul of man
And kindle her fire in the closed heart of things.
All here shall be one day her sweetness’ home,
All contraries prepare her harmony;
Towards her our knowledge climbs, our passion gropes;
In her miraculous rapture we shall dwell,
Her clasp shall turn to ecstasy our pain.
Our self shall be one self with all through her.
In her confirmed because transformed in her,
Our life shall find in its fulfilled response
Above, the boundless hushed beatitudes,
Below, the wonder of the embrace divine.
This known as in a thunder-flash of God,
The rapture of things eternal filled his limbs;
Amazement fell upon his ravished sense;
His spirit was caught in her intolerant flame.
Once seen, his heart acknowledged only her.
Only a hunger of infinite bliss was left.
All aims in her were lost, then found in her;
His base was gathered to one pointing spire. [313 – 315]

It is a most remarkable passage, one of the most beautiful where we have a glimpse of the Divine Mother in her absolute supreme Glory. Here is the key, the bridge, that Aswapati has come seeking all the way, the Power that can transform earthly life into a life divine. Aswapati has reached out to her with a heart of aspiration for the redemption of the earth. Responding to his cry She appears out of some burning rapturous core of the transcendent Unknowable and gathers all beings and things in her arms of Love. Aswapati is filled with a spontaneous rapture of adoration and loses all of himself in her. He has come to the doors of the supreme Power other than whom there is none other. His quest has ended, his journey ceased. Only one boon he seeks and it is the redemption of earth and matter and embodied beings and man by her touch of Grace.

 

The boon of boons for earth and men

The Divine Mother consenting to descend upon earth

Come, O Mother, come. Make of our heart and life thy chamber and shrine. Come, O Mother, come, let thy Feet be upon our fallen heads and thy Light and Power invade us until all in us becomes a vessel and channel and instrument of thy Force. Come, O Mother, come, let the long night end, let the darkness be smitten by thy Light, let the dawn of a new consciousness emerge and the luminous smile of a new creation scatter its wonders upon earthly life. What is there that cannot be done by thy touch of Grace? What is there that cannot be accomplished by thy Force? What is there that cannot be transformed by thy all-victorious Love? With a complete faith and surrender we call Thee, O supreme Liberator, we take refuge in thy Love. Linger not long, come, O Mother, come to our call, come!

O Wisdom-Splendour, Mother of the universe,
Creatrix, the Eternal’s artist Bride,
Linger not long with thy transmuting hand
Pressed vainly on one golden bar of Time,
As if Time dare not open its heart to God.
O radiant fountain of the world’s delight
World-free and unattainable above,
O Bliss who ever dwellst deep-hid within
While men seek thee outside and never find,
Mystery and Muse with hieratic tongue,
Incarnate the white passion of thy force,
Mission to earth some living form of thee.
One moment fill with thy eternity,
Let thy infinity in one body live,
All-Knowledge wrap one mind in seas of light,
All-Love throb single in one human heart.
Immortal, treading the earth with mortal feet
All heaven’s beauty crowd in earthly limbs!
Omnipotence, girdle with the power of God
Movements and moments of a mortal will,
Pack with the eternal might one human hour
And with one gesture change all future time.
Let a great word be spoken from the heights
And one great act unlock the doors of Fate.”

His prayer sank down in the resisting Night
Oppressed by the thousand forces that deny,
As if too weak to climb to the Supreme.
But there arose a wide consenting Voice;
The spirit of beauty was revealed in sound:
Light floated round the marvellous Vision’s brow
And on her lips the Immortal’s joy took shape.
“O strong forerunner, I have heard thy cry.
One shall descend and break the iron Law,
Change Nature’s doom by the lone spirit’s power.
A limitless Mind that can contain the world,
A sweet and violent heart of ardent calms
Moved by the passions of the gods shall come.
All mights and greatnesses shall join in her;
Beauty shall walk celestial on the earth,
Delight shall sleep in the cloud-net of her hair,
And in her body as on his homing tree
Immortal Love shall beat his glorious wings.
A music of griefless things shall weave her charm;
The harps of the Perfect shall attune her voice,
The streams of Heaven shall murmur in her laugh,
Her lips shall be the honeycombs of God,
Her limbs his golden jars of ecstasy,
Her breasts the rapture-flowers of Paradise.
She shall bear Wisdom in her voiceless bosom,
Strength shall be with her like a conqueror’s sword
And from her eyes the Eternal’s bliss shall gaze.
A seed shall be sown in Death’s tremendous hour,
A branch of heaven transplant to human soil;
Nature shall overleap her mortal step;
Fate shall be changed by an unchanging will.” [345 – 346]

Aswapati’s tapasya has borne its ultimate fruit. The boon he has asked is the highest that man has so far asked from the Supreme. The Divine Mother grants this seemingly impossible boon to him. She has consented to come and turn the endless cycles of Time with a decisive push towards the supreme consummation. She will come and change the rhythms of Time and the old ways of Nature to a new divine rhythm that shall transform earthly life into the life divine. She has promised to come and her coming is a sign and proof that death shall be vanquished and the reign of Darkness and Night recede and eventually give way to the new Dawn that emerges from her radiant limbs. When She comes all the forces of the Inconscient shall rise in a last-ditch attempt to resist, but She comes armed with the victorious power of divine Love and brings with her the mandate to open the new way for earth and men, the path that will not only lead him out of ignorance but to the transformation and divinisation of earthly life.